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Level Up Your Leadership: The Essential Guide to Strategic Thinking

Being able to think strategically is one of the key differentiators between middle managers and those in senior leadership. This week's #tuesdaytip.🎉

Strategy is about the ability to think, plan, and execute in a way that continually moves the organization toward better outcomes. Here are a few tips along with a helpful exercise.

𝗪𝗛𝗔𝗧 - content

🔷 Lift your head above day-to-day challenges and consider the larger environment you work in - both within the company and outside it.

🔷 Look toward emerging trends (cultural, demographic, economic, technological, and industry) to determine their possible impact. Develop plans to address the challenges and opportunities that will result.

𝗛𝗢𝗪 - methodology

🔷 Explore paradox by engaging in and/also thinking. Navigating the tensions that paradoxes bring to light enables dialogue and innovative solutions.

🔷 Ask yourself and others tough questions, challenge assumptions, and stretch yourself to think and operate differently.

𝗪𝗛𝗘𝗡 - timeframe

🔷 For each issue look at multiple options and evaluate their likely present impact as well as downstream ramifications that may occur in the future.

🔷 Allocate time to balance between executing the necessary work of today with the important work of tomorrow. Blocking your calendar to allow 2 hours of uninterrupted time each week is a great best practice.


𝐒𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐜 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐀𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐭𝐲


Here’s a fun and helpful thought exercise that can broaden your scope toward becoming a strategic business executive:

Imagine your company 10 years from now. Assume three possible scenarios:

• Revenue/profit have doubled

• Revenue/profit is exactly the same

• Revenue/profit has decreased by 50%

Complete the following steps:

1. Think through what likely happened to bring about each of these results? Write down the activities and events that brought each about.

2. What can you do to increase the likelihood that the things you envisioned in the first scenario (doubling in size) come to pass? What drivers can you take advantage of? What roadblocks might get in your way? How can you minimize or move around them?

3. How can you decrease the likelihood that the things you envisioned in the third scenario (decrease in size) don’t come to pass? What do you need to move away from or give up?

4. Think through the changes that need to be made in structure, people, skillsets, behavior, culture, mindsets, technology, policies, processes, etc. to move towards the first scenario.

5. What can you do now (including influencing others) to move toward these changes?

6. What support do you need to refine your analysis? Who has information that might be helpful? Who can be a thought partner on this topic?

Need more help?


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